Robustness and Antifragility- A Basic Training Continuum
Anti-fragility (AF) is a term heard frequently in training circles at the moment, especially since Nassim Taleb’s book ‘Anti-Fragile’ was released. Some have viewed this essentially as a call to promote ‘chaos’ in your training environment with random programming, varying loads and energy systems utilised all at once with a view to producing adaptable athletes. Although I do not agree with this high risk interpretation of it, believing instead that my athletes’ wellbeing is paramount and injuries in training are unacceptable, I do think the anti-fragility concept has a place in your training continuum.
Below is a simple continuum for a rugby player. The contents of each box from ‘Robust’ onwards should be adjusted to suit the specific needs of each athlete and their sport. Often in the fourth column you see gymnastic work or strongman/military events but as mentioned previously they should be examined critically for risk and reward and specificity and how much time they will take away from other key elements.
Ideally AF work is the culmination of solid S+C program. In the same way as a lack of preparation leads to an increase in risk of injury, solely focussing on high intensity AF work without proper preparation and skill acquisition will do the same.